What is Fashion Forecasting: How Fashion Brands predict new styles?

Fashion Forecasting has been an essential crux of the fashion industry for quite a while now. Isn’t it stunning to get acquainted with the fact that what we’re wearing today was already decided by a forecaster a year (or two) back, and currently, he is on his journey to predict what we would wear in the coming years? Fashion forecasting conducts itself as a base in different fields of fashion as they provide the adequate research that fashion professionals look for.

In this blog, we’re here to unleash the dynamics of fashion forecasting, how it’s done, why, and what do we need to get you started if you aim to be a Fashion Forecaster.

What is Fashion forecasting?

Fashion Forecasting is a Fashion job that involves researching and analyzing upcoming trends based on consumer data and buying trends.

Fashion and trends are a regular source of inspiration for millions of professionals and thousands of industries and forecasting what a customer will buy tomorrow holds have to be in responsible and analytical hands.

A fashion forecaster in simpler terms, predicts colors, fabrics, textures, materials, prints, graphics, beauty/grooming, accessories, footwear, street style, and looks that will be showcased on the runways. They look for styles that prophetic and relatable notions to capture a customer’s mood.

Types of fashion forecasting:

Fashion Forecasting is broadly bifurcated into two types:

  • Short-Term Forecasting
  • Long-Term Forecasting

Short-Term Forecasting

Short-term forecasting, as the name suggests, refers to a shorter time period. Inspired by pop culture and hot trends these trends are often termed FADs.

They’re trendy, an upgraded and eye-string of the classic version of classic styles. These fashion trends are targeted at a smaller group of audiences as compared to others. 

Long-Term Forecasting

Long-term trend forecasting is well research for a longer period of time, these are the styles that stay for longer and are for a broader audience. Long-term trend forecasting lasts at least two years or more.

Demographics play an essential role in shaping long-term trend forecasting. There are marketing consultants who work with Fashion/trend forecasters for detailed research.

Short-Term Forecasting vs Long-Term Forecasting

Short-Term ForecastingLong-Term Forecasting
• Mini trends that last for a shorter period, 6 months to a year.• Trends that stay for long, Classic styles.
• Concentrated target audience.• The broad target audience stays for a long, 2-5 years.
• Majorly focus on a specific cut, color, fabric, or texture.• They work on different stories than short-term trend forecasts.
• Trendy Styles• More accurate research according to customer data.

What is the role of a fashion forecaster?

A fashion forecaster is to predict styles, color, texture, fabric, interior trends based on customer data and buying research. They also predict what’s going to be there on the runways and analyze them.

But there’s something that needs to be known too. Fashion trend forecasting is just not about choosing or predicting fashion trends, a lot of the research depends on physiological, cultural, and sociological shifts that play a major role in Forecasting fashion.

Skills Required for fashion forecasting

These are a few skills you must acquire before you step into fashion forecasting:

  • Should have a keen interest in past and current fashion trends.
  • Thorough knowledge of the fashion industry, 
  • Good networking and communication skills.
  • Be imaginative and creative.
  • Have the right I.T skills.
  • Strategic Research is the key.

Importance of fashion forecasting in Fashion industry?

Forecasting as a designation is not only used in the Fashion industry but generally in all aspects of retail. It plays a huge in dictating what’s in and what’s not.

Extensive research, customer data analysis, and a keen eye for picking up key points that would prove apt for upcoming trends is a responsible and skillful job.

To cope with the ever-changing world where every trend seems to be a FAD, all thanks to digitalization, predicting pieces that would be picked and will last for a longer time.

A helpful tool for retailers and fashion designers who create garments and products. The more they focus on the forecast, the more they are relatable to customers, hence more sales since able to bring the collections more relatable to the target audience. Fashion Merchandiser also has a key role in bringing those trends into retail.

How do you do fashion forecasting?

Fashion forecasting was initiated by Textile Color Card Associates in the 1960s, after World War 2. Initially, trends were picked by analyzing runway shows, trade shows, newspapers & magazines’ information, and market research,

while it used to be time taking and a complex process, digitalization and social media has worked wonders not only in forecasting as a whole, but anybody wants to learn about it, gets access to it. All you need is a trustable source and its subscription!

RESEARCH is the key. But research from trustworthy sources is even important. While you can pursue fashion forecasting as your subject of a degree that you desire, here are a few sources you must keep an eye on and get yourself updated, to understand the knick-knacks of fashion forecasting and trends as a whole.

Top 8 Fashion trend Forecasting agency

  • WGSN
  • Promotstyle
  • Trendwatching
  • Trendchecker
  • Fashion snoops
  • Tobe & The Doneger Group
  • WWD.com 
  • Business of Fashion

What factor directly influences fashion forecasting?

Fashion trend forecasting is a study of future demand of styles, trends, colors, textures. Textile Specialists prepare and research for 2 years prior to generating guidelines for designers, market researchers, and the retail industry to bring relatable and sellable collections for the audience the sell.

Based on long and short-term strategizing, trend forecasting bridges the gap between market needs and what is being offered to the market, as a cycle.

The major factor that directly influences Fashion forecasting is Cultural, social and lifestyle shifts are regulated what needs to sell in the future. Studying and foreseeing future social and cultural movements is one of the top prioritized sectors to be paid attention to.

Lifestyle and cultural changes, modernization, digital, and innovation play a key role as with fashion forecasting we’re moving towards artificial intelligence and updated forecasting techniques making Trend forecasting an easy tool for the fashion professional in this industry.

Moreover, another quotient which adds to it is understanding the lifecycle of a product, the Fashion Cycle as we call it, and how they impact the lives of the target audience, to whom we aspire to sell. Development of any new trend is based on the aspects mentioned below:

  • High Culture 
  • Pop Culture
  • Low Culture

High Culture revolves around ART as a product, such as photography, architecture, design, painting, and music.

It could be easily explained by how Louis Vuitton collaborates with different artists and designers to bring a specific collection, there’s an inspiration and a segmented set of audience who abides by it.

Pop Culture is appreciated by a larger audience, young adults and teens who’re more into experimenting and is a hoarder of FADs.

They’re also a representation of art and cultural movements. Celebrity culture also plays a key role in framing Pop culture as they are huge media influencers, a lot of their fans and followers who get inspired by. 

Low culture, known as Subcultureinvolves street style movements like hippie, emo, and gothic movements. The target audience yet again gets filtered till we reach here. These cultures frame a lot of data that helps fashion forecasters predict the current ad upcoming trends.


The question lies that is Fashion Forecasting an apt profession to choose if you start today? Fashion Forecasting is going to be relevant, now and forever.

The need for predicting current trends and fashion and to be able to foresee what’s the future that lies ahead will be relevant till the retail industry flourishes.

Ever wondered why Y2K aesthetic is back, or fresh trends are being set? The curiosity to know how and what we would wear in coming years could be a fundamental starting point of why you should pursue Fashion trend forecasting as a subject.

“We spent a lot of time trend forecasting and collaborating on ways to design a fresh line of fashion-forward, affordable luxury,” says Kourtney Kardashian, and rightly so!

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